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Marko Nikodijevic`s “ketamin/schwarz” Given World Premiere at the Donaueschinger Musiktage

The Serbian-born composer Marko Nikodijevic has composed a work entitled “ketamin/schwarz” for an ensemble of 7 players and electronics in response to a commission from the Südwestrundfunk (Southwest German Broadcasting Company).

The Ensemble Ascolta and the SWR Experimental Studio will perform the world premiere of the commissioned work on 21 October 2012 at the Donauhallen under the direction of Johannes Kalitzke during the course of the Donaueschinger Musiktage.

The composer has supplied the following comments on his new piece:

“Friedrich Nietzsche writes: 'And if you look into the abyss for a long time, the abyss will also look into you.' Taking large amounts of a dissociative anaesthetic such as ketamine causes states resembling the OBE (out of body experience) and NDE (near death experience), accompanied by strong feelings of derealisation, depersonalisation and hallucinations. The user is caught in a state of detachment from his physical presence. The senses are distorted, objects appear to move closer or farther away, which is why users fix their eyes upon a point, fearfully attempting to avert their gaze, for the distortions have an extremely disorienting effect. The combination of these effects creates a feeling of finding oneself in a frozen state - of being caught in a hole, the so-called K-hole.
This piece is the documentation of an experience, made according to the best of my knowledge and in all conscience.
Acoustic material appears during the work: two Mongolian songs, harrowing, as if the desert itself were singing. I am indebted to Gary Berger for having introduced me to these recordings and for making them available to me. The recordings have been manipulated in a variety of ways: stretched and shrunk, broken and inserted into each other, fractalised and more or less drifting into an abyss. My composition outlines the edges of the acoustic reality of this music, imitating the same physical processes of the sound production. Instead of becoming a counterpoint, it is built like a protective wall surrounding the original and processed recording of the two songs. Two spaces interlock, expanding into infinity.
The piece was written for the Ensemble Ascolta in gratitude and affection.”

21 October 2012
Donauhallen, Mozart Saal, 11 AM
World premiere: Marko Nikodijevic
“ketamin/schwarz“ for one ensemble of 7 players and electronica
Ensemble Ascolta und Experimentalstudio des SWR
Johannes Kalitzke (direction)


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